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Updated: General Election Called for July 4 – Local Candidates Begin to React

Published on: 23 May, 2024
Updated on: 23 May, 2024

May 24: Jeremy Hunt the Conservative candidate for Godalming and Ash said: “As [yesterday’s] inflation news confirms, despite massive global shocks our country’s prospects have been transformed under Rishi’s leadership.

Martin Giles interviewing Jeremy Hunt MP in April

“It will be my honour to fight with every bone in my body to get him re-elected because we need a government that takes the difficult decisions necessary to unlock our nation’s extraordinary potential.

“I will also stand for election in Godalming and Ash where I am proud of my local record and excited that the new boundaries include the town I went to school and the village I grew up in. It is a highly marginal seat so I will fight hard for every single vote!”

See also: Jeremy Hunt Admits He Is Not Confident of Winning at the Next General Election

May 23: Local politicians have started to comment on the Prime Minister’s decision to call a General Election for July 4. In the Guildford and Godalming & Ash constituencies, the contest will be primarily between the incumbent Conservatives and the Liberal Democrat candidates.

The Conservatives face a challenge unprecedented in recent times. Not only are Labour 21 per cent ahead of the Tories nationally but some polls have shown that the Lib Dems are ahead in most Surrey constituencies too, most with new boundaries.

Angela Richardson MP

Guildford’s MP, Angela Richardson, elected in November 2019, has been the first to react this evening. She said: “Voters across Guildford and our villages face a choice between a Conservative government with a plan to deliver a stronger economy or go back to square one with a Labour government who have no plan for our country.

“I am proud of my record over the past five years delivering on local healthcare, support through the pandemic, tackling flooding, crime and so much more.

“Together, over the next few years, we can keep moving forwards. From protecting our precious green spaces to ensuring a vibrant local economy and keeping focus on our infrastructure needs.

“I will continue to fight for every single vote and hope that residents of our community will place their trust in me to continue to deliver for them and reflect their values, both at Westminster and here in Guildford.”

Ed Davey speaking to a BBC reporter in Camberley. Over his right shoulder (as viewed) the Lib Dem candidate Zoe Franklin can be seen.

Zoe Franklin, the Lib Dem’s candidate for Guildford, said: “This will be the most important General Election in a generation.

“People across Guildford and our villages need and deserve a strong local champion, an MP who puts them first. Now is the time. I stand ready.

“At last, we have the opportunity to tell this failed, arrogant Conservative Government what we think of its disastrous 14 years in power.

Zoe Franklin, Lib Dem candidate

“On 4th July the UK will go to the polls, and Guildford and our villages will have the chance to make our voices heard. To get rid of the Conservatives. To bring positive change and fresh ideas.

“We must act now to fix the Conservatives’ shameful legacy.

“They’ve left the NHS on its knees. The social care system is broken. Millions of children and adults live in poverty. The cost of living crisis has hit all but the wealthiest hard while the Conservatives have stood back and watched as privatised water companies paid billions to shareholders while pumping sewage into our waterways.

“This must stop.

“The Labour Party has already recognised that the Liberal Democrats are the only party who can beat the Conservatives here. Guildford is on its “Non-Battleground” list, as Labour focuses on seats it believes it can win.

“Now is our chance to rid the Guildford constituency of its out-of-touch Conservative MP and Conservative Government. A vote for me and the Liberal Democrats is a vote for the dedicated champion that Guildford deserves in Parliament.

“The time for a fair future for Guildford is now and I am ready to get to work.”

Sarah Gillinson, Guildford Labour’s candidate, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the General Election has been called.

“It’s time for change. Guildford residents deserve great local health care, affordable household bills, a flourishing high street and reliable trains. Only a Labour government can deliver this.

“Only a Labour MP for Guildford can give residents a voice in that government.

“I look forward to fighting for every vote in Guildford – and to representing you as your next MP.”

More candidate comments have been requested and will be added as they are received.

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Responses to Updated: General Election Called for July 4 – Local Candidates Begin to React

  1. Anthony Mallard Reply

    May 23, 2024 at 9:12 am

    The problem for the Guildford constituency, as I see it, is that however personally good the Conservative candidate is, she is tainted by the actions or inactions, scandals etc of the national party and, of course, whatever her personal convictions, she has to abide by the party whip in most votes in Parliament.

    The Liberal Democrat candidate has the millstone of her association with her colleagues at GBC (she was herself a borough councillor until 2015) and the serious problems within the council. The Labour Party, historically, has never flourished successfully here in national elections.

    Am I alone in facing this conundrum when deciding whether to vote or for whom I should vote in the forthcoming election?

  2. S Collins Reply

    May 23, 2024 at 9:14 am

    I thought Zöe Franklin had gone into hiding.

    When she says 14 years, she needs to ask Ed Davey about the first five years of that.

    Anyway, here’s to a nice clean fight…

    Editor’s comment: there have been numerous articles in The Dragon in recent months in which Zoe Franklin has commented.

  3. Tom Cole Reply

    May 23, 2024 at 11:45 am

    None of these three even remotely tempt me, nor do the parties of which they are part.

    Give me an actual option to vote for, a Green, an Independent, give me someone that actually reflects my views and values.

    Editor’s comment: Wikipedia has published a candidate list which shows The Green (Sam Peters) and Reform UK (Dennis Saunders) as well as the three main national parties: Conservative (Angela Richardson; Lib Dem Zoe Franklin and Labour. Other candidates may be nominated.

  4. Paul Spooner Reply

    May 24, 2024 at 9:21 am

    As residents ponder the choice of candidates in Guildford and Godalming & Ash constituencies I wonder if The Dragon could publish CVs of the contenders so that residents could better understand the background and achievements of the candidates from all parties over recent years on a professional level but also community/charity, and whether they are incumbent MPs or aspiring community representatives within Parliament.

    I am sure that this would help decision making when combined with video interviews and the usual manifesto claims, both individual and party level.

    Paul Spooner is the chair of the Godalming & ash Conservatives

    Editor’s response: Thank you for the suggestion. We will see if a precis CV, supplied by the candidates, can be included within or appended to the interviews with each of them that we hope to conduct.

  5. David Roberts Reply

    May 24, 2024 at 4:49 pm

    It scarcely matters what Angela Richardson’s CV is. She voted for Brexit. For me, to show such obvious and catastrophic lack of political judgement disqualifies her completely from serious consideration as a candidate.

    • John Perkins Reply

      May 24, 2024 at 10:12 pm

      Describing an alternative opinion to one’s own as a “catastrophic lack of political judgement” suggests disqualification from serious, reasoned debate.

  6. Roshan Bailey Reply

    May 24, 2024 at 10:30 pm

    Guildford Borough is hugely fragmented across Parliamentary constituencies and Normandy and Pirbright are now part of Surrey Heath (having previously been with Woking) in this context. Please don’t disenfranchise us from the Dragon but include coverage of people and issues for us as well! We were lucky in having Jonathan Lord as our MP over recent years, the first I recall in my 36 years living here who looked beyond Woking, knew us well and fought our corner where needed. We don’t know who our candidates will be yet, so Dragon journalism will be very welcome to make sure they all give due focus to the Guildford segment of their enlarged constituency.

    Editor’s response: Thank you for the reminder. We will do our best to cover all the Parliamentary constituencies that overlap Guildford Borough.

  7. Hyde Peter Reply

    May 25, 2024 at 6:35 am

    Anthony Millard is not alone. For many it will be a case of least worse gets the vote. But we should vote!

  8. H Trevor Jones Reply

    May 26, 2024 at 9:22 pm

    I agree that Brexit and its consequences is something that really divides the parties and their candidates, who I think all want good schools hospitals, trains services, etc. But I’d like a candidate who hopes one day to get back into the single market and customs union, so as to reduce trade and travel barriers.

    Other readers are welcome to disagree.

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